Discern and define apostolic strategies for the school with Apostolic Planning.
“Consistent and participative discernment is our way of ensuring that ongoing apostolic planning, including implementation, monitoring and evaluation, is an integral element in all Jesuit ministry.”
GC 36, Decree 2, paragraph 5
Here is a simple guide for using Discernment in Common for your Apostolic Planning in light of the Universal Apostolic Preferences.
RECALL the fruits of the Spiritual Conversations
and how we are being called to respond to the Apostolic Preferences.
READ the Sign of the Times
concerning the School’s Mission in light of the Apostolic Preferences.
RESPOND to the Apostolic Preferences
Through discernment, set strategic directions for the school.
“The prayerful quality and effectiveness of the examen itself
depend upon its relationship to our continuing contemplative prayer.
Without this relationship examen slips
to the level of self reflection for self-perfection, if it perdures at all.”
George Aschenbrenner, SJ
Go through an Examen to recall the outcomes of your Spiritual Conversations (from the Reflect-Share-Discern process):
How we are being called to respond to the Universal Apostolic Preferences.
Here are some useful resources for this first stage:
The Examen Handbook
In this document, Father Ross Jones SJ offers a guide (and examples) for leading others through the prayer of the Examen.
Praying with the Preferences
This is a series of short guides designed by the Curia of the Society of Jesus for those who wish to enter more deeply into the journey of renewal offered by our new Universal Apostolic Preferences.
“ in today’s educational context, educating competent students requires a school
that is able to adapt to the students’ individual-cultural-social differences
and find the best ways to accompany them in their development.”
Secretariat for Education, Society of Jesus
Take time to analyze and understand the school’s mission and context in the light of the Universal Apostolic Preferences.
Understanding the Mission and Context
Step 1 – Reflect and Understand the mission
- Reflect on your school’s mission and its alignment with the Preferences
- Share and discuss your thoughts and ideas
Step 2 – Research and Analyze the context
- Consult relevant people and sources of information
- Identify and analyze external factors that could be beneficial and detrimental for the school
- Identify and analyze the school’s internal capabilities and limitations
Individual prayer for confirmation
“We are called to look at history with their eyes and find out how we,
as a universal apostolic body, can do our best (magis)
to make a contribution to the redemption of the human beings.”
Fr. General Arturo Sosa SJ
Engage in the three rounds of Spiritual Conversation as you discuss the following questions:
- What concrete priorities and directions is our school being called to consider as a response to the Universal Apostolic Preferences?
- What policies, programs and practices should we start, stop, and/or strengthen?
First round: Personal Sharing
Active and Attentive Listening
- Listen to others without judgement
- Pay attention not only to the words, but also to the tone and feelings of the speaker
- Avoid the temptation of using the time to prepare what you will say instead of listening
- Express your experiences, thoughts, and feelings as clearly as you can
- Listen actively to yourself, mindful of your own thoughts and feelings as you speak
- Monitor possible tendencies to be self-centered when speaking
Second round: Reflective Sharing
- What struck you during the First Round?
- Were you struck by a common theme?
- Was there something that you expected but did not hear?
- Where did you experience harmony/dissonance while listening to others share? Why did you feel that?
- What emotions are you feeling now? What do you think does this mean?
- What insights have occurred to you during this round?
Third round: Discussion and Consensus
- What spiritual movements can we identify from the two rounds of sharing?
- Are there emerging consensus points?
- What next steps do you think are we being asked to take?
Individual prayer for confirmation
- To close the process, each one may express a prayer of thanksgiving